It’s National Women’s Health Week!
This week (May 12th-18th) is National Women’s Health Week! During National Women’s Health Week each year, millions of women take steps to improve their health. The week serves as a reminder for women to make their health a priority and build positive health habits for life.
What steps can you take to improve your health? You can:
- Get your annual physical and well-woman visit. Well-woman (gynecological) visits focus on preventive care for women, such as shots, screenings, and education and counseling to help women make smart, healthy decisions regarding their lifestyle and body.
- Exercise – Depending on your comfort level, schedule, and experience, aim to exercise 3-5 days per week. On days when you don’t work out (i.e. go to the gym, go for a run, etc.), try to go for a walk and avoid sitting around all day. The CDC recommends that adults do at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of aerobic physical activity per week.
- Eat healthy – Ensure you’re consuming food from all five food groups, including vegetables, fruits, grains (preferably whole grains like brown rice or whole wheat bread), protein foods (meat, poultry, fish, etc.), and dairy. Avoid over-consuming simple sugars and fat in foods like cakes, candy, pizza, ice cream, and other types of “comfort food,” and avoid consuming too much alcohol. The CDC also recommends that women take in 400 mcg of folic acid per day to help prevent birth defects.
- Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress. If you have any fear that you’re suffering from a mental health issue, consult with your doctor or mental health specialist. For example, approximately 12 million women in the U.S. suffer from depression—if you’re one of them, don’t wait to get help!
- Practice safe daily behaviors. Examples include quitting smoking, protecting yourself from sexually transmitted infections, avoiding texting while driving, and refraining from driving under the influence of alcohol.
Remember that these are tips. Each woman will have something different that works for her. The key is finding what works for you and sticking to it. If you need support, check with family or friends to see what keeps them motivated to stick to healthy habits, and how you can apply it to your own lifestyle. Additionally, you can use the Office of Women’s Health’s online tool to uncover personalized tips to assist you in beginning your health journey!
Have a question? Contact us at AskANurse@DirectPathHealth.com